Strengthening resource management training programs within indigenous schools, colleges and universities in central Mexico (Puebla, Veracruz, Guerrero)




Volcán Pico de Orizaba, Sierra de Zongolica, Veracruz (Photo: M.Alexiades)About 80% if remaining forests in Mexico are community-owned, a fact which attests to the ability and effectiveness of local forest managment practices. Over the past several decades, as tropical forests in Mexico and elsewhere become valued, commoditized and subject to increasingly complex forms of legislation and intervention by external agents, however, it has become increasingly difficult for many of these local communities to continue using and managing  their forest resources.    In order to legally, and ultimately effectively, utilize their territories and natural resources, communities need to navigate through important, novel yet shifting institutional, policy, and market contexts; contexts over which many rural communities have no control and limited awareness and understanding. 


Community of Zincalco, Sierra de Zongolica, Veracruz (Photo: R. Hidalgo)PPI is actively working with local counterparts in Mexico, developing training programs, teaching materials and curricula that will hlep form a new type of indigenous professional, one endowed with a broad and well-integrated set of skills that enables communities with viable institutions of environmental governance to effectively interface with external agents, the State and the market. The overall goal is to help reduce dependency on external inputs, allow communities to better draw on their local skills and abilities, generating employment, promoting community organization and self-governance, and ultimately also facilitating the implementation and success of external interventions.  Most importantly it seeks to help insure that community-owned forests remain in the able hands of those people who have lived in, used, and stewarded them for so long.


Click on thumbnail for mapWe are currently working in Pahuatlán (Puebla), Zongolica (Veracruz) and Costa Chica de Guerrero (Guerrero) with two intercultural universities (Universidad Veracruzana Intercultural, Universidad de los Pueblos del Sur) as well as with some indigenous secondary schools. Besides helping develop training materials and courses we have also been promoting exchanges between students and programs from different regions  and a closer interaction between the process of capacity-building and training and direct problem-solving in both communities and community-based organizations.

Intercultural forest management and land-use zoning in Veracruz


Sede Grandes Montañas, Universidad Veracruzana Intercultural, Tequila, Veracruz (Photo: M.Alexiades)Working with the intercultural university of Veracruz (UVI, Universidad Veracruzana Intercultural) and MIMOSZ (MIMOSZ, Manejo Integral de Montes de la Sierra de Zongolica), we are improving and broadening the scope and reach of the training programs within the UVI's campus in the tropical mountains of Zongolica, more  





Nahua biocultural diversity, landscape and history: a program for primary school children in the Sierra de Zongolica, Veracruz


A session at school using a storybook on natural resources and women's knowledge, El Carril, Zongolica (Photo: B. Contreras)In 2015 Belinda Contreras, Fortunta Panzo, Elizabeth Sánchez and Leonardo Alvarez, started working in two primary schools in the Sierra de Zongolica, developing  materials and working with teachers to integrate key aspects of the environment as it relates to local knowledge and the revitalisation of traditional
management practices….read more



Social and territorial revitalisation among highschool students, Pahuatlán, Puebla


Students from Xolotl high school learning basic GIS skills (Photo: M. Torres)Since 2012 Citlalli López and Adolfo Rebolledo have been working with the students and teachers of the Xolotl highschool, Pahuatlán, Puebla, in order to integrate an intercultural element into the educational program, in ways that revitalise and support the ability of students to subsequently engage with the problems in their community by drawing on their endogenous knowledges, skills and practices more